Due to popular suggestion, I’m switching Farm Work Day to Sundays, 9am-11am. Swing by if you can. Bring gloves and water bottles if you’ve got ’em. See you this Sunday, May 26. The farm is at 663 28th street, at MLK in Oakland.
Also, a quick teaser: I’m going to have my first Farmstand on June 7. More on that later, but I’m dovetailing with Oakland First Friday art night. The stand will probably open at 6pm and go til 8pm. I’ll have zucchini, beets, carrots, herbs, rhubarb, greens, honey, t-shirts, and books for sale.
Before daylight savings comes along to ruin our lives, I’m going to have one last Pop-farm stand! No, don’t congratulate me yet: I still don’t have my conditional use permit from the city of Oakland as they are still dotting the “i”s and crossing the GhostTown Ts. But in the meantime, I guess it’s ok for me to sell a little veg.
It’s also my way of kicking off the Community Food Security Collation’s 15th annual conference which is being held in…Oakland! If you want to attend the conference, go here. It’s running November 5-8, but you can sign up for individual days. Please, conference attendees, feel free to come by the farm and hang out. I’ll build a fire in the cob oven and we can circle the wagons. But don’t expect a rager: I go to bed early these days, what with the growing baby and all…
When: November 4, 4pm-dark
Where: GT Farm, SW corner of 28th and MLK Way
What: Dino kale, salad greens, braising mix, last of the tomatoes, herbs, GT tshirts–all for sale
What else: Duck viewing
Hope to see you there, this will probably be the last one of the year….
I thought I was just being paranoid, but it looks like the City of Oakland workers do read my blog (hi guys!) and will be coming to the pop up farmstand to bust me for illegal activities.
Here’s the deal: After getting off the plane from Salt Lake City and making my way home to a cup of tea, I sit down at my kitchen table and I see this guy in a City of Oakland car taking photos of my garden. I go down and he said I’m out of compliance for “agricultural activities”. I’m supposed to get a Conditional Use Permit for growing chard. The annual fee: $2500.
Last year, when I bought my lot, I went to the planning department to find out what I needed to get a business license and all that stuff. The very nice planning person told me that by the spring, the City of Oakland would be changing the laws about urban agriculture in the city, so I should just wait. Guess that hasn’t happened.
The photo taking city guy said they are going to use me as an example, and that I’ll get fined around $5000 for non-compliance. All of this was triggered by one person, who complained to the animal control, who then passed it on to the city, who is now making my life hell. I said to the guy–one person caused this, that’s not fair. “Life’s not fair,” he replied. What about City Slicker Farms? Or People’s Grocery? I asked, two urban farming non-profits in Oakland. No one has complained about them. And they say one person can’t make a difference!
Then the city guy told me I can fight it and be part of the discussion about how the laws are shaped. Well guess what city worker–you get paid an hourly wage to deal with this crap. If I play with the city, I’ll have to spend countless hours of my time (making it my 4th low paying/no paying job) so you can have a new law to enforce when one person (with money and power probably) complains about about another person’s private activities. I just want to grow food for myself and other people, I don’t want to go to meetings and speak bureaucrat talk.
The up-shot is: the Pop-up Farmstand is canceled until further notice, and I’m not going to post about my activities on this blog (I’ll still write about the farm, just not announce events). If you want to be added to my private email list to find out about events/tours/pop up farmstands, email me at myname @gmail.com with a statement about who you are and why you want to be added.
I heard it’s going to be 67 degrees and sunny next Wednesday, and I really will need to sell some cilantro, greens, and fava beans. So let’s try again for the Urban Farmstand, 4pm-7pm. There won’t be tours, but I’ll bring the goats around for people to admire, and I’ll open up the new, gorgeous chicken coop for people to explore.
When: Wednesday, March 30, 4-7pm
Where: 665 28th street (park on MLK or ride your bike)
See y’all there!
P.S. I’ll tell you the police story in private–big brother is watching…
P.P.S. Let me know if you want to bring some produce to sell.
I feel like I’m living in Seattle again. Why won’t the rain stop? I know it’s good for the plants, but in moderation. I looked at the weather report and it looks like this Wednesday, March 23, it will rain. So I’m canceling my Farm Stand scheduled for that day. Plus, I’m getting heat from the police–more on that later. To repeat: March 23 Ghosttown Farm Stand is canceled. Sorry! We’ll try again in April….
It’s the year of the tour. A fellow urban farmer, k ruby from the institute of urban homesteading is doing an urban homestead tour in June; the Bay Friendly garden tour is featuring lots of places with chickens, bees, ducks, and goats on their tour; and the Biofuel Oasis is having our first Urban Farm Tour on Sunday, April 3rd, 9:30-2pm. It’s going to be really fun–the tour group will meet at the Biofuel Oasis then board the biodiesel powered Mexican School Bus for a few hours of urban farming pleasure. We will stop and see a small CSA, a youth run organization, a goat farm, and end at my place to behold my new predator proof chicken coop from heaven. Along the way you’ll get to sample farm produce, ask the farmer questions, and learn about best practices for growing food in the cities. Tickets are limited, $40/each. Sign up here, and I’ll see you on the bus!
Als0–thanks to everyone who came to my Farmstand this Sunday, it was great to meet all you cool people, and we did raise some cash to pay for some of the farm expenses. The next Ghosttown Farm pop up farmstand will be Wednesday, March 23, 4-7pm. Please let me know if you are an urban farmer with produce to sell. I’m looking for urban east bay people who want to sell honey, eggs, fruit, or vegetables. No jams or processed items at this time. Send me an email with your specifics: novellacarpenter at gmail